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Apple boss says "sorry" for maps mess

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 Apple Maps 28th September 2012

When iOS 6 was launched along with the iPhone 5, Apple dumped the long-established Google Maps and went with their own application instead. Called Apple Maps, the application combined data from TomTom with Apple's own engineering skills, which should have been a recipe for success.

Unfortunately, many customers have found mapping errors in the new Maps application, some of which are minor annoyances, and some of which are major problems that make the mapping tool unusable. Many of these problems have been documents on the blog The Amazing iOS 6 Maps which shows some of the more spectacular mapping mess-ups. However, it's worth bearing in mind that there are millions of users of this new app, and many of them are very happy.

However, it's clear that there is something wrong, the first major problem with a new product since antennagate more than two years ago, and in this case CEO Tim Cook has written an open letter of apology to customers.

    To our customers,

    At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

    We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.

    There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.

    While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

    Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.

    Tim Cook
    Apple’s CEO

There's no doubt that the Maps app will get better, and it needs to because Google aren't exactly rushing out a Google Maps app for the iOS platform. But unfortunately, this difficult launch has taken the shine of an otherwise excellent product, and has played straight into the hands of rivals with better mapping applications.

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